Budget-friendly Meals

Summer Solstice Rolls

The summer solstice is just around the corner and we think these summer rolls are a perfect way to welcome the new season. This recipe is extremely versatile, so feel free to use any fresh, colorful summer veggies and herbs you happen to have on hand. If tofu isn’t your thing, feel free to sub in your favorite cooked protein. Our weekly sale from June 2nd – 8th features a handful of the ingredients listed, making this one easy on the budget, too! If you don’t plan to serve the rolls right away, try rolling them in plastic wrap until you’re ready to eat. This will prevent the rolls from becoming soggy or sticking together. Other key tips are to avoid over-moistening the wrappers and avoid over-filling. Your first few are bound to be a bit clunky, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

 

 

Pork Dumplings

If you find pork dumplings from your favorite take-out spot irresistible, just wait until you taste this homemade version! Pork dumplings, or jiaozi, are the quintessential dish of Lunar New Year celebrations and these have everything you want in a dumpling: plump and nicely chewy, filled with tender pork, flavored with fresh ginger, green onion, and sesame oil. Lunar New Year, Chinese Chunjie, Korean Seollal, Tibetan Losar, and Spring Festival all describe the celebration that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later. This year, many will hold celebrations on Feb 1. The Lunar New Year festival is thousands of years old, and today nearly 25% of the world’s population participate in this celebration. 

Because of their resemblance to gold ingots, making and eating dumplings during Lunar New Year celebrations is a way to express wishes of prosperity and fortune in the coming year. Making dumplings is also a group effort, so Lunar New Year celebrations are good times to get the whole family involved in making — and eating! — several batches. Whether you’re celebrating the Lunar New Year or stocking your freezer for a busy month ahead, these dumplings should definitely be on your list. You’ll find many of the ingredients in our Lunar New Year-themed weekly sale from January 27th – February 2nd, so it’s a perfect time to give them a try!

Hoppin’ John

The black-eyed pea was first introduced in the New World by Africans who carried the dried legume here with them from West Africa. The U.S. Library of Congress has records of its arrival as early as 1674. James Beard award-winning chef and cookbook author Edna Lewis, known as the First Lady of Southern Cooking, shares in her timeless cookbook In Pursuit of Flavor that in her home state of Virginia, Southern farmers planted them in abundance to supply nitrogen to the soil between cash crops. Before the plants were tilled in, farmers welcomed anyone to go out and pick the peas. Lewis remembers her family storing the dried pods in cotton sacks until “on a cold winter afternoon when there was nothing better to do, we would shell the peas.” Because of its significance in African foodways, dishes with black-eyed peas are commonly made for feast days and other special occasions among members of the African Diaspora, most notably on New Year’s Day to bring good fortune and prosperity, and during Kwanzaa, a celebration of African heritage which runs from December 26th – January 1st. Because Kwanzaa is a nod to harvest celebrations in Africa, when communities honor crops and laborers, food plays an important role — particularly soul-food staples like Hoppin’ John. You’ll find black-eyed peas and rice featured in our Weekly Sale from December 23rd – 29th, so it’s a great time to give this dish a try!

Hoppin’ John

The black-eyed pea was first introduced in the New World by Africans who carried the dried legume here with them from West Africa. The U.S. Library of Congress has records of its arrival as early as 1674. James Beard award-winning chef and cookbook author Edna Lewis, known as the First Lady of Southern Cooking, shares in her timeless cookbook In Pursuit of Flavor that in her home state of Virginia, Southern farmers planted them in abundance to supply nitrogen to the soil between cash crops. Before the plants were tilled in, farmers welcomed anyone to go out and pick the peas. Lewis remembers her family storing the dried pods in cotton sacks until “on a cold winter afternoon when there was nothing better to do, we would shell the peas.” Because of its significance in African foodways, dishes with black-eyed peas are commonly made for feast days and other special occasions among members of the African Diaspora, most notably on New Year’s Day to bring good fortune and prosperity, and during Kwanzaa, a celebration of African heritage which runs from December 26th – January 1st. Because Kwanzaa is a nod to harvest celebrations in Africa, when communities honor crops and laborers, food plays an important role — particularly soul-food staples like Hoppin’ John. You’ll find black-eyed peas and rice featured in our Weekly Sale from December 23rd – 29th, so it’s a great time to give this dish a try!

Skillet Cornbread

Our weekly sale from October 7th – 13th celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Monday, October 11th) and features local, organic cornmeal mix from our friends at Nitty Gritty Grain Company of Charlotte, VT. Mix it up with a few other simple ingredients for an easy Skillet Cornbread that pairs beautifully with the Three Sister’s Soup recipe also being featured on our blog and with the Weekly Sale display. The cast-iron skillet allows the cornbread to get extra crispy and golden on the outside, with a soft, smooth interior that’s irresistible! No skillet? No problem! Simply bake in an 8-9″ round or square baking pan. 

Locavore Beef Stew

As our September Eat Local Challenge winds down, we’re excited to share this celebration of local ingredients known as Locavore Beef Stew. It combines many locally-grown items that you’ll find in our weekly sale from September 23rd – 29th, making this a perfect budget-friendly one-pot meal. We also think you’ll love the flexibility of this recipe, as it can be a catch-all for the abundance of produce coming out of your late summer/early fall garden. That’s why you’ll find celeriac in this recipe in the place of the more traditional celery since celeriac is more likely available from a local farm this time of year and offers a very similar flavor profile. No celeriac? No problem! Just use celery, instead.

Summer Pasta Salad

Looking for a cool meal for a hot summer night? Or a tasty make-ahead dish to take to a summer potluck? This pasta salad combines fresh, local summer veggies & local pasta with tangy dressing, olives, and feta for a perfectly balanced summer meal. Many of the ingredients are featured in our weekly sale from July 8th – 14th, so this one’s easy on the wallet, too! Feel free to be creative with veggie add-ins. This is the kind of salad that can be built around just about any veggies that are abundant in your garden (or the local farm down the road) this time of year.

Summer Solstice Rolls

Summer solstice is just around the corner and we think these summer rolls are a perfect way to welcome the new season. This recipe is extremely versatile, so feel free to use any fresh, colorful summer veggies and herbs you happen to have on hand. Our weekly sale from June 10th – 16th features a handful of the ingredients listed, making this one easy on the budget, too! If you don’t plan to serve the rolls right away, try rolling them in plastic wrap until you’re ready to eat. This will prevent the rolls from becoming soggy or sticking together. Other key tips are to avoid over-moistening the wrappers and avoid over-filling. Your first few are bound to be a bit clunky, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

 

 

Kimchijeon (Kimchi Pancake)

According to Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, who adapted this recipe, Young S. Kim’s golden kimchijeon are a revelation. Tart with pungent kimchi, the pancakes are both satisfyingly chewy and shatteringly crisp. Nosrat suggests serving it to a crowd as an appetizer or enjoying it on its own as a filling meal. You’ll find local Sunja’s kimchi featured in our weekly sale from April 22nd – 29th, so it’s a great time to experience this Korean comfort food!

Soba Noodle Bowl

This quick and tasty soba noodle bowl is about as versatile as it gets. Make it a day or two in advance and serve it chilled, or whip it up for a weeknight meal served warm.  And feel free to be creative with the veggies and garnishes. It’s a perfect catch-all for whatever you happen to have on hand. If tofu’s not your thing, stir fry any protein you prefer and add it to the bowl in place of the tofu. You’ll find most of the ingredients in our weekly sale from April 15th – 21st, so it’s a perfect time to give this one a try!